World Net Daily Discovers Foot Jihad – Another “Secret” Muslim Code

World Net Daily Discovers Foot Jihad – Another “Secret” Muslim Code

by Sheila Musaji

Just when you think that the Islamophobia echo chamber must have run out of possible nonsensical Muslim jihad plots to discover, they come up with something else.

Andrea Shea King published Obama sending Muslims subtle message? on Joseph Farah’s World Net Daily (WND) about a photo of Pres. Obama with his foot on the desk in the oval office.

This is not exactly big news since The Blaze has photos of Ford and Bush with their feet on the same desk here.  They published this after some people called Obama’s foot on the desk “disrespectful”.  Considering that WND thinks Chuck Norris qualifies as a Sharia expert, nothing coming from them should be a surprise.

The WND article goes well beyond calling this disrespectful.  The author says:

…  Is it possible President Obama had a White House photographer release this official image to the world to send a wordless message of support to the Muslim Brotherhood, Arab street and Islamic community in general? To convey his disdain and disregard for all things traditionally American? It is, after all, common knowledge that the Arab world considers the bottom of one’s shoes the ultimate sign of disrespect. And it’s not the first time he’s done it. …

Here is the photograph that WND includes to “prove” this latest nonsense:

I can’t tell from this photo if Obama is wearing his “Muslim Ring”,  or holding his hand in a “special way” that actually sends a secret Muslim message, or whether he is talking on the phone in hissecret Muslim code language [all of these are previous claims made by Islamophobes including WND].

But, I do know that I would need a secret decoder ring or some other advanced super powers to detect any messages Obama is sending to anyone in this photo, or with secret hand signals, or secret language codes.  I have not received any such decoder, no hand signal manual, no dictionary of secret Muslim language codes, nothing — nor has any Muslim that I know.

No one except the lunatic fringe among even Islamophobes could take such claims seriously.  But then, the Islamophobes have previously come up with so many fake jihad plots that it is difficult to even keep up with them, and someone believes this crap.  Here are just a few of their previous revelations about devious Muslim jihad plots:

bumper sticker jihad — Thanksgiving turkey jihad — paisley scarf jihad — marriage to important men jihad — spit jihad —  fashion jihad — spelling bee jihad — rape jihad— defacing dollar bills jihad — population jihad — creeping Sharia jihad —  mosque building jihad — terror baby jihad — “creeping Sharia” jihad — pedophilia jihad —bus driver prayer jihad — forehead bruise jihad — postage stamp jihad — soup jihad—  banning alcohol jihad — fake hate crimes jihad — piggy bank jihad — tv reality series jihad — handshake jihad — prom jihad — interfaith jihad — Arabic language jihad — public school jihad — religious accommodation jihad — Crescent moon jihad — Christmas tree tax jihad — oath of office jihad — immigration jihad —community fundraiser jihad— public school/madrassa jihad — post office jihad —food jihad — pyramid jihad — crucifixion jihad in Egypt — fireworks jihad — computer donation jihad — civic participation jihad — Olympic “judo” jihad— stealth name jihad— pre-violent jihad — Love jihad — fashion jihad 2 — #MyJihad ad jihad — talk show host jihad — art museum jihad — Halloween jihad — DNC Muslim Prayer Jihad —cat crucifixion jihad in Ghana — Scottish Muslim women’s stealth jihad — anti-democracy jihad — un-neighborly Musims in Paris jihad — jihad on Christopher Columbus — Iranian smallpox jihad — Muslim Christmas grinch jihad — #MyJihad twitter jihad — Muslim takeover of National Parks jihad — bomb threat jihad —pledge of allegiance jihad — adoption jihadsexual jihad  —vehicular jihad —  Ramadan water jihad — sticker jihad — comedy jihad — pub jihad — employment jihad —animated cartoon jihad — environmentalism jihad

The Islamophobia Echo Chamber of which World Net Daily is a part are promoting total fantasies and paranoid conspiracy theories with no basis in fact.

Pamela Geller: Defender of Radovan Karadzic

Pamela Geller: Defender of Radovan Karadzic

GellerGlare

Pamela Geller was long ago declared the looniest blogger ever for her insane ramblings and frothing, genocidal invective. There is more than abundant evidence that she is an extremist, violence-promoting demagogue.

In the following article Sheila Musaji slams Geller for her shoddy and shameless attempts at deception.I urge readers to forward it to the Times of London.

By Sheila Musaji (The American Muslim)

Pamela Geller is once again attempting to defend herself against those who find her efforts to be bigoted, anti-Muslim hate speech.  This time she is upset about an article in The Times of London Don’t Bar the Demagogue.  In the course of this most recent attempt to defend herself, in the face of having been banned from entry into Britain to participate in an EDL event, Geller is particularly incensed about one claim in that article.  Geller says:

“The Times says I defend Karadzic, but actually, I have posted a piece that said quite clearly: “I am not defending Radovan Karadzic…” Is what the Times is doing here journalism?  Anyway, as for Srebrenica, I quoted information from former BBC journalist Jonathan Rooper …”

Fortunately for Geller, most of those who take her seriously, are not careful readers.  Actually, the first article Geller refers to was posted on her site and the entry was titled by Geller Serbs Had to Battle Islamic Jihad.  Geller is posting a letter by Stella L. Jatras under this title.  It is not Geller, but Jatras that says in her letter “I am not defending Radovan Karadzic…”.  The rest of the letter makes it clear that this claim of “not defending Karadzic” is a hollow claim on Jatras’ part as well as Geller’s part, as within that letter Jatras also admiringly quotes (as if it is a reasonable position) Yossef Bodansky as saying “This callous self-killing was designed to shock the West, especially sentimental and gullible Washington, in order to raise the level of Western sympathy to the Bosnian Muslims and further demonize the Serbs so that Western governments would be more supportive of Sarajevo’s forthcoming aggressive moves, and perhaps even finally intervene [militarily].”  Geller’s title and the inclusion of this piece of hate propaganda by Jatras clearly shows Geller’s agreement with this.”

And Geller’s own comment about the second quote from Jonathan Rooper is “As Spencer says: “None of this information is consistent with the claims that there was a genocide of Muslims there, and it comes from a former BBC journalist, the World Health Organization, the Bosnian Government, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the New York Times, and Muslim General Enver Hadzihasanovic. Perhaps some challenge can be made to these claims, but it is a legitimate discussion that needs to be had, rather than waving away Pamela Geller as some hate-filled genocide denier, which is the purpose of the inclusion of Srebrenica in the Leftist/Islamic supremacist dossier on her.”

So, she and Robert Spencer are both sharing this quote from Rooper as though it is a respectable comment and not a despicable case of attempting to justify genocide.  Rooper’s journalistic qualifications do not make his hateful propaganda any less bigoted.

Geller has attempted to respond to this charge that she has defended Karadzic before using the same sort of ridiculous mental gymnastics.  In a curious statement in which she refers to herself in the third person, she said:  “FALSE CHARGE: Pamela Geller has defended former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.  Actually Geller has never defended Milosevic at all; she has only expressed skepticism about some of the claims made about Serbian concentration camps – a skepticism that many journalists and historians share.”

Charles Johnson reported Pamela Geller, Genocide Denier

… Today, Pamela Geller crossed the line into outright genocide denial, claiming that only a “couple of hundred people” were killed in Srebrenica by Serbian commander Ratko Mladic. The truth, of course, is that Mladic oversaw the massacre of thousands of innocent Muslims — including many children — who had sought safety from the genocide being perpetrated by Serbian forces in other parts of Yugoslavia. And that’s just one of his many documented war crimes.

And it gets even worse. Geller also claims that Muslim forces fired on their own people to create international sympathy, and that the well-documented attempted genocide by Serbians was completely fabricated.

Another despicable post supporting the mass murder of Muslims: DISTORTING HISTORY includes this:

Why aren’t the Bosnian Muslims held to the same standard as the Serb Christians? Why is this fabricated narrative protected so fiercely? The left is spitting bullets every time I post on Bosnia. They are so vested in establishing a militant Islamic state in the heart of Europe. Why?

The American people were fed an endless supply of distortions and deceptions in order to grease Clinton’s war. It began with a lie. How long will these human rights activists and international law clowns ignore the Serbian people and their stories? Refuting the Bosnian Lies.

The international community jumped to manufacture a “genocide” of a couple of hundred people, when real genocides like the millions of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians by the Muslims are systematically ignored, demied [sic]. Enough. When does the truth get a hearing?

Geller posted an article on Karadzik by Julia Gorin under the title The Real Criminals Presiding over the International Criminal Court Part II of Nuremberg II, and Geller introduces this article with this commentary:

… Radovan Karadžić, the former Bosnian Serb politician, is on trial (more like a sharia court) in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of “war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo” (now an entirely Muslim city, completely ethnically cleansed of non-Muslims.) Educated as a psychiatrist, he co-founded the Serbian Democratic Party in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was the first President of Republika Srpska from 1992 to 1996.

Geller again comments at the end of the article:

Karadzic’s opening statement (further down below) elaborates on that last incident, but first: A few months before the trial started, the prosecution disseminated what it hoped the public would interpret as a damning piece of evidence in the form of a recorded telephone conversation. The media duly lent their own efforts to portray it as damning. (Remember that in matters concerning the former Yugoslavia—the media, the court, the prosecution, world governments, NATO, and Hollywood are a single conglomerate.) In the example below, the prosecution and the media attempt to twist Karadzic’s efforts to avoid ethnic cleansing, into a fiendish desire to commit ethnic cleansing.  …  If the tribunal at the Hague were a real court, by the end of the proceedings it would find that what Karadzic is actually guilty of is being a Serb general. And of defending a population that is guilty of breathing while Serbian. At the time of Karadzic’s arrest, John Laughland, writer for Britain’s Spectator and UK Daily Mail, wrote in the Brussels Journal

Geller includes passages from a number of other articles from individuals who are also attempting to recast the Bosnian Genocide as simply Serbs defending themselves against those evil Muslims, and she adds this gem of a comment:

Corroborating the point about the classic Islamic modus operandi of self-killing and manipulating media coverage, employed in Bosnia as in every other front of Jihad, is the May 7th testimony of David J. Harland. Between the years 1993 and 1999 Harland was first a civil affairs officer with the UNPROFOR (UN Protection Force) Command and then head of Civil Affairs for Sector Sarajevo.

As James Bloodworth reported:  Geller is also a prominent genocide denier. As One Law for All put it in their brilliant report on the far-right, Enemies not Allies:  “Geller has defended Radovan Karadzic, and likened his war crimes trial at The Hague to a ‘Sharia court’. She has also asserted that Bosnian Muslims killed themselves during the conflict in question in order to ‘manipulate media coverage’. Further, Geller has published and endorsed articles by Julia Gorin, which in their criticism of Karadzic’s trial refer to the ‘8000’ Muslims supposedly executed by Serbian forces’ [sic], and place scare quotes around the word ‘genocide’ when discussing Srebrenica.”

In her own words, Geller considers the Bosnian genocide a “fabricated narrative”, a “lie” and a “manufactured genocide” that is part of a “classic Islamic modus operandi of self killing and manipulating media coverage” which is supported by media “distortions and deceptions” that needs to be “refuted”.

The One Law for All report titled Enemies Not Allies includes this passage:

The SIOE leadership has written in defence of Radovan Karadzic, who is currently on trial for war crimes and genocide.38 In an article entitled The extraordinary rendition of Radavan Karaic, they complain that anti-Serb media bias will deny Karadzic a ‘fair trial’. It also attempts to justify his actions, remarking that ‘The history of muslim oppression of Serbs during the Ottoman empire and the fear of the return of such persecution will not be allowed in Karadzic’s defence. The current persecution of Serbs in Kosovo as justification for that fear will not be allowed as evidence’ [sic].39

NOTE:  as is so often the case with the Islamophobes and disappearing articles, if you go to the SIOE article link given in the Enemies Not Allies report, all you will see is a statement saying that SIOE.wordpress.com is no longer available.  The article can still be found at this url http://sioeengland.wordpress.com/2008/07/

Pamela Geller is confused about what constitutes lies, lies, lies! and about Who Are the “Brownshirts”.  She also seems to be confused about what constitutes a defense or rejection of a position.

Did Pamela Geller defend Radovan Karadzic?  Read what she has actually said and written, and it seems clear that she did and does.

Freedom of speech under attack by Islamophobes in Tennessee

Freedom of speech under attack by Islamophobes in Tennessee

by Sheila Musaji, TheAmericanMuslim.com

I’ve noted before that Pamela Geller Does Not Understand Freedom of Speech when she found fault with American Muslims and others for denouncing her hate ads.  This she called an attempt to “impose blasphemy restrictions on free speech”.  She does not understand that   Freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech.  She showed this same lack of understanding of freedom of speech when Al Jazeera came to the U.S.  In that case Pamela Geller Defended Free Speech By Calling for Censorship.  When a number of students at UC Irvine disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s talk, The Irvine 11: Freedom of Speech and Double Standards - 11 of those students were arrested and stood trial and the MSU on campus was censured for coordinating the protest.  Pamela Geller called the MSA suspension for disrupting the ambassador’s talk “a giant stop sign to the Islamic supremacism and jackbootery increasingly found on college campuses. America is waking up to the enemy in our midst.” 

Geller and her partner Robert Spencer actively promoted the recent protest in Tennessee.  In fact, Geller posted on Twitter  “Thousands gather at AFDI free speech demo in Tennessee”.  This means she is taking responsibility for this shameful display of bigotry.  Unless she believes that the organizers and participants in this protest should be censured or arrested just as those who disrupted Ambassader Oren’s talk were, then she is truly hypocritical when it comes to freedom of speech.  This protest was an egregious example of selective freedom of speech.

The background:  Last month, Coffee County, Tennessee commissioner Barry West posted a photo on Facebook of a man squinting down the barrel of a gun, with a caption reading, “How to wink at a Muslim.”  The Muslim community in Tennessee and across the nation was outraged, and many were frightened by the implications of the photo and caption, especially coming from an elected official. The photo below is a capture of the Facebook page by the Mail Online.  There is no way to see this as anything but threatening.

As Elizabeth Plank noted in an article on this incident:

… An endorsement of Islamophobia by an elected official can only make matters worse for a state that is the home of a frightening amount of anti-Muslim violence. “We know that these lead to discrimination and hate crimes in the Muslim community, and we are very wary of that,” said Sabina Mohyuddin. “I am a second-generation American. My children are third generation. We don’t see ourselves as anything but American,” she continued.

Daniel Tutt, an Episcopalian interfaith activist and a research fellow at the nonprofit Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, told USA Today that the best thing Barry West can do is publicly apologize and privately meet with Muslim families living in Coffee Country. “The initial reaction from Muslims will be, ‘This is unfortunate, but we’ve seen a lot of this.’ But it’s not acceptable. If the same thing were done to the Jewish or African-American communities, it would not be tolerated.” …

West ultimately issued a half-hearted apology after first denying that there was an issue and claiming it was only a joke. Look at this photograph and caption, and simply scroll through the article collection below containing many references to previous incidents in Tennessee, and consider whether or not a community that has seen so much hate directed towards it would see this as a joke.  In fact, simply change the wording and replace the word “Muslim” with a word descriptive of another community and see what your reaction would be.

how_to_wink_at_a_muslim

The American Muslim Advisory Council decided to host a meeting to allow local Muslims to share with their neighbors about who the Muslim community is, and to talk about American Muslims and public discourse, and they invited a representative of the DOJ and the FBI to attend and talk about what’s considered free speech and what’s illegal hate speech, and where the line is where speech can be prosecuted.    The situation in Tennessee was that there was a lot of tension between the Muslim community and their neighbors.  There had been a series of anti-Muslim incidents, and an elected official had posted something that the Muslim community believed to have crossed the line between protected speech and hate speech.  This is exactly the sort of situation that the DOJ’s community outreach program is designed to address.  Bill Killian, U.S., Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee was to speak about the Constitution, the first and fourteenth amendments, and to clarify what constitutes hate speech, and what are the existing legal consequences.

A meeting was arranged and publicized and the Islamophobia network freaked out.  They made a number of ludicrous claims and totally misrepresented the meeting.

An article by Janet Levy titled The Not-So-Veiled Threat to Non-Muslims in Tennessee contains most of the misrepresentations that were repeated endlessly by the Islamophobia echo chamber.

Levy opened by saying that “Claims that American Muslims are loyal citizens, partners in counterterrorism investigations, part of radicalization prevention efforts, and an integral part of American society for centuries fell flat, especially coming from the host organization that was formed only two years ago in response to anti-shariah legislation in the Volunteer State.  A well-informed crowd responded with calls of “taqiyyah” when members of AMAC, a group that bills itself as “a bridge between the Muslim community and law enforcement,” touted Muslim contributions to U.S. society and their dedication to upholding American values. (Taqiyyah doctrine obligates Muslims to deceive infidels as part the required effort or jihad to institute Islamic doctrine or shariah). In actuality, Muslim organizations have specifically instructed Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement and have demanded that all counterterrorism-training materials be expunged of critical references to Islam and Muslims, as well the training instructors fired or retrained who fail to follow along.”

So, according to Levy, we are to understand that well informed people know that if American Muslims claim to be loyal citizens and an integral part of American society – they are lying (practicing taqiyya) and required to lie by their evil religion.

From there she goes on to make false claims about Muslims being forbidden to befriend non-Muslims, being required to wage jihad to establish a global Islamic government under Sharia, having aspirations to replace the Constitution with shariah, etc.  She also claims that no other group in the United States has been the focus of such a degree of attention and outreach, no outreach to Jews or other communities, the DOJ and FBI have not scheduled meetings addressing the concerns of any other group but Muslims.

This is the usual ploy of the Islamophobes.  No matter what the particular issue at hand, rather than dealing with facts, they throw in every negative aspersion they can to demonize the religion of Islam, and Muslims in general.  It is exhausting to have to constantly respond not only to the particular issue at hand, but to all the bigoted claims added on to prove to their audience that Muslims are somehow unique and dangerous.  All of the claims that Levy makes in her despicable tirade have been previously addressed.  Here are responses to specific charges made by Levy in this article:

— Qur’an 5:51 Can Muslims Have Non-Muslims as Friends? – The Concept of Wilaya in the Qur’an; — How mainstream Muslims understand the term “jihad”;— Islamic Sharia and Jewish Halakha Arbitration Courts;— The Return of the Caliphate?;— The Taqiyya Libel Against Muslims;— American Muslims must defend the Constitution of the United States;— Muslims are a part of our American heritage;— Historic events and people that shaped the American Muslim community;— Does CAIR tell Muslims not to talk to the FBI?The False Claim that Muslims have no programs to counter radicalization;— A defense of free speech by American and Canadian Muslims;— Where is the U.S. Government Getting It’s Information on Islam and Muslims? (training scandals);— FCNA Resolution: On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans

As to all the other constantly repeated claims about Islam and Muslims, the meaning of terms, interpretation of scripture, etc. please see Resources for dealing with Islamophobia and Islamophobesfor responses to these and numerous other claims.

Actually, having representatives of the DOJ, FBI, or other government agencies speak to minority groups about issues of particular concern to various groups, and about civil rights and constitutional issues is not at all unusual.  Just last month, Attorney General Eric Holder of the DOJ spoke at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Centennial Summit.  In his speech he discussed the history of the fight against anti-Semitism, against discrimination, and for civil rights.  The fact that such work remains unfinished, and that challenges and threats still lie before us.  “And the path to ensuring equality, opportunity, and justice for all – regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or walk of life – still stretches beyond the horizon.”

In fact, a statement Mr. Holder made to the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applies equally to this meeting in Tennessee (just replace Jewish community with Muslim community):

That’s why gatherings like this one are so critical. By fostering constructive dialogue, by standing firm against discrimination, by monitoring hateful activities, by studying the roots of extremism, by defending the security of Jewish populations around the globe, and by educating policymakers, law enforcement leaders, and members of the public – ADL is proving every day that the changes we seek are possible. You’re showing that the results our citizens deserve are not beyond our reach. And you’re strengthening the ability of our nation’s Justice Department to advance these vital efforts.

More than three decades ago, ADL stepped to the forefront of this work – pioneering a model hate crime law that has since inspired similar statutes in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Across the country, you’ve helped guide the implementation and enforcement of these and corresponding federal laws – including right here in Washington.

During the 1990s – when I served as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia – I worked closely with David Friedman to create a Hate Crimes Working Group to build engagement between community leaders, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and the D.C. residents they were sworn to serve. Under my predecessor, Attorney General Janet Reno, this approach was widely replicated across the country. And, on an even larger scale, ADL’s efforts to support and educate law enforcement with innovative training programs – in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum – have helped to reinforce the values of tolerance and respect for our nation’s diverse population.

To date, more than 80,000 law enforcement officials – including all new FBI agents – have taken part in this training. At every level of today’s Justice Department, my colleagues and I have been proud to work with ADL in broadening the impact of your efforts. We’ve partnered with you to develop cutting-edge resources like the FBI’s new Hate Crime Training Manual. And we’ve been fortunate to stand together in calling for the passage of important legislative tools, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that has enabled us to take these comprehensive efforts to new heights.

…  We can all be proud of the Justice Department’s comprehensive civil rights enforcement efforts – and our ongoing work to bring about long-overdue reforms. We can be encouraged by the results of our close collaboration with ADL – in building new safeguards for vulnerable populations and securing needed changes to help guard against bigotry. Together, we’re upholding the values that have defined this organization over the past century, and the principles that lie at the heart of our justice system.

…  We must also continue to move forward in preserving our democratic ideals and ensuring fair treatment for all – even, and especially, in moments of great difficulty.

…  In July of last year, the Department filed suit against a Tennessee county for discriminating against local Muslims by refusing to allow a new mosque to open. ADL wrote and filed a brief to aid in this case, on behalf of a broad interfaith coalition. The congregation encountered vandalism, threats of violence, and steep public opposition. But the Department obtained a court order requiring county authorities to stand aside and honor First Amendment rights – and the congregation was permitted to worship in their new facility.

This action, and many others like it, prove the Department’s determination to safeguard the core Constitutional protections that stand at the center of who we are as a nation – and that have always empowered the ADL to bridge divides and promote cooperation over conflict. As Americans, we must not allow any group to be stigmatized or alienated. We must not tolerate acts of hatred. And we must reaffirm every day – through our actions as well as our approach – that justice and public safety are not in tension. They rely upon one another.  …

This meeting in Tennessee was exactly the same sort of effort against Islamophobia as previous and continuing efforts against anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry.

Here are just a few examples of such community meetings and presentations by U.S. Attorneys and other DOJ officials to many different minority communities:

— In Ohio “the office hosts meetings open to the broader community to discuss a wide range of topics. In the past year alone, the U.S. Attorney has spoken to community groups about hate crimes, hosted meetings focused on ways to reduce bullying in schools and convened a meeting a local mosque to hear concerns to security restrictions at airports and border crossings, to name a few.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI convene quarterly meetings with community leaders, interested stakeholders and members of Northern Ohio’s minority communities. The office has partnered with The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio and holds the meeting in important locations in the community, from a Sikh gurdwara to a center of Cleveland’s Vietnamese community. By sharing our collective experiences and stories, we hope to continue to creat understanding and respect between all our various cultures.”  [url=http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohn/programs/outreach.html]***[url]
— In California “Scams targeting seniors and the elderly are on the rise in the Internet Age and consumer protection experts advise that education is the most important element of a successful fraud prevention program. With that goal in mind, on November 13, 2012, the Central District of California teamed up with Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles to produce a short program to educate local seniors on scams and how to avoid being victimized by fraud. U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr., Sandy Samuels of Bet Tzedek and Debbie Deem of the L.A. Regional Office of the FBI led an interactive presentation for seniors.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in a community meeting in conjunction with the “Stand UP and Speak Out Against Bullying” Campaign.  Hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Division, the Reseda Neighborhood Council and the Reseda Magnet School, the meeting at Reseda H.S. brought together more than 200 students, parents, teachers and other interested parties. ***
— In Alabama, A meeting in Birmingham, Alabama between FBI officials and representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Birmingham-area les­bian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations.
—- In D.C. U.S. Attorneys, and Police addressed a neighborhood meeting of the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission to discuss urban crime and violence ***.  The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office staff attend approximately sixty community meetings and events a month. These meetings are held by civic associations, local government, and the Metropolitan Police Department. During these meetings, in an effort to improve transparency in the criminal justice system, community prosecutors educate the community about our Office including giving insight on our bond determinations, charging decisions, and sentencing allocutions. We also educate the community about the inter-workings of the criminal justice system. In an effort to formalize this educational component, we have piloted a new program called “Witness for the Prosecution” Over a period of several sessions, this program educates the community about the criminal justice and our Office’s role in the criminal justice system. In the coming year, we should look towards expanding this program to marginalized communities, such as the Muslim, Ethiopian, Hispanic and Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered communities. Moreover, during these community meetings we receive various nuisance abatement complaints. In an effort to address and document these complaints, we have drafted a Nuisance Abatement form which standardized how we receive complaints and disseminate these complaints to the appropriate agency.  ***  On October 3, 2012, the Civil Rights Division and the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the Department of Justice hosted a Roundtable on Religion-Based Hate Crimes at the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building Conference Center. Representatives from 22 religious and interfaith organizations representing a broad array of religious communities participated in a discussion about data collection and reporting relating to religion-based attacks on individuals and places of worship, and the adequacy of current categories in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.  Diverse religious groups presented anecdotal and survey evidence about hate crimes against Sikhs and Hindus, as well as against Arab Americans, and recommended that these be added as categories in the Uniform Crime Reports to help better understand religious and ethnicity-based hate crimes. Changes to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports are considered by the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board, a board made up of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials and subject matter experts. The Board then makes recommendations to the FBI Director. ***
— In Arizona, the Southern Arizona Hate Task Force met with elected officials, the acting U.S. Attorney and members of the FBI in forums designed to inform the public about how they can report allegations of police misconduct, about the elements of a hate crime, and what to do if they have been a victim of a hate crime. They’ve even launched a website designed to provide community members with factual information about hate crimes and links to important local resources.  ***  U.S. Attorney Burke’s civil rights focus has been instrumental in addressing community conflict by recognizing that some communities, particularly those of color, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity, are at higher risk of discrimination and the possible threat of violence. The office has held community civil rights forums to ensure that people are aware of their civil rights and know whom to contact if they or someone they know is a victim of a hate crime. U.S. Attorney’s Office personnel have also reached out to local law enforcement and provided training on the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, forging partnerships that have facilitated better communication among state, local, and federal agencies.  Through the efforts of its Civil Rights Unit and Community Outreach component, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona has held community forums with Latino and African American communities to address issues of immigration and police misconduct. The office has also conducted community forums that target faith-based groups, including interfaith groups, boards of Rabbis, and outreach to Arizona’s Islamic centers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona also regularly holds forums with sexuality and gender identity-based communities to build trusting relationships with law enforcement.  ***
— In Minnesota, in the aftermath of the burning of an Amish barn, CRS worked with Amish leaders and local police to develop an agenda for a town hall style meeting. The town hall meeting provided non-Amish community members with an understanding of the history and background on the Amish way of life in an effort to prevent future misunderstandings, biased-based incidents, and hate crimes. ***
— In Connecticut, Civil rights outreach by US Attorneys of the DOJ included:  Visits to two New Haven schools in celebration and recognition of Black History Month. Our presentations to students at Micro Society Magnet School and Hill Central Music Academy began with a discussion of prominent African Americans in recent history and important moments in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. We then engaged the students in a discussion about hate crimes by using the example of a civil rights prosecution handled by this office, asking the students “What would you do?” and “How would you feel?” if you were a victim of or witness to the offensive conduct. We finished with a vibrant discussion about bullying and its consequences. They joined with the FBI’s Atlanta Division to host the nation’s first community conference to discuss implementing and enforcing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We recognized that members of the community, and particularly those citizens who the new law is primarily designed to protect, may not be knowledgeable about the changes in the law. Moreover, we believed that state and local officers, who are the first responders to incidents that might qualify as hate crimes, needed training not only on the changes to the statute, but also on enhancing their community outreach efforts so that victims are empowered to report violations. Consequently, we convened members of community groups along with hundreds of officers and agents from local, state and federal law enforcement organizations for a day-long event at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Through speakers and panel discussions, participants shared important information about investigating, prosecuting and preventing hate crimes, while also encouraging communications and building trust between law enforcement and these community groups. ***

This meeting, unlike the hundreds of other meetings across the country with various minority groups, did not go smoothly, and was overwhelmed by the followers of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer who had posted appeals to meet in Tennessee for a protest against what they termed an attempt to take away their right to freedom of speech and “impose Sharia blasphemy laws” in the U.S.

Here is what then took place:

Nashville Scene posted the entire 1 hour and 39 minute VIDEO of the event.

Charles Johnson reported Pamela Geller at Tennessee Anti-Muslim Protest: “Without Freedom of Speech We Must Resort to Violence”.  He includes a video that Geller posted of her speech to the crowd outside the meeting and he notes that “Geller even hints around about using violence against Muslims, starting at about 4:50 into the video.  Geller says:  There are no Jews, they’re all leaving Norway. They’re fleeing France, they’re fleeing the UK. Christians can’t wear a cross in the UK. For us, Europe’s a cautionary tale. We are only five to ten years behind Europe.  And I will tell you that freedom of speech is a line in the sand because, without freedom of speech peaceful men must resort to violence. [shouting] AND WE DON’T WANT TO!  Right, you don’t want to. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)”

Other statements by Geller in the course of her tirade:  - The first amendment protects all speech, not just speech that we like – We’re speaking out against the most brutal and oppressive ideology on the planet – Truth is the new hate speech – The justice dept under the Obama admin has become a de facto legal arm of the Muslim Brotherhood – We need an army, the time is now to stand up …

NEWS21 reported Muslim group’s TN forum with feds disrupted by heckling  “During the keynote speech given by Bill Killian, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee, audience members continually interrupted, making it difficult to understand what was said. Killian brought a PowerPoint presentation that covered the First and 14th amendments and what constitutes a hate crime, among other things. He read the First Amendment verbatim, between interruptions. …  Former “Saturday Night Live” star Victoria Jackson was among the protesters.  “The Constitution and Sharia cannot coexist,” she said. “Islam is evil.”

A Times Free Press article U.S. Attorney Bill Killian greeted by hostile crowd at Manchester, Tenn., free speech event included this strange statement:  “Some people at the impromptu rally were handing out anti-Islamic literature, other patriotic materials and some Christian materials as several speakers were using a megaphone to work up the crowd.  One man’s sign read: “In America, you are free to practice your religion, and I am free to insult it.”  I would hope that this was a typo, and that they did not actually mean to say that “anti-Islamic literature” is equivalent to “other patriotic materials”.

Pam Strickland wrote in the Knox News Irony goes over protesters’ heads.  She gives a detailed description of events during the meeting including:  “… During the outdoor rally, one woman with a bullhorn declared that “Islam does not deserve the protection of the First Amendment.” Others carried anti-Muslim signs.  None of the signs spoke of religions other than Islam, but the underlying theme was that Christianity was the preferred religion the First Amendment was written to protect. If that were the case, why would we need the First Amendment? Some would say to protect different Christian denominations. Only that’s not what the First Amendment says. It says religion, and it doesn’t have any exceptions written into it. It protects all religions — period.  … ”

An editorial in the Tullahoma News Actions at diversity meeting shameful  noted that:

There was no door to stand in front of that kept black students from entering, and there were no police officers arresting black citizens as they attempted to eat at a counter with the words “whites only” emblazoned on the wall above their heads.  But little else distinguished Tuesday night’s event at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center from those hate-filled, racist gatherings of days past.

Organized and sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council, headquartered in Murfreesboro, the event, called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,” was billed as an educational opportunity for the public to learn about American Muslims, as well as how the civil rights of all citizens are protected under the United States Constitution.

It was the result of a recent Facebook reposting by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West in which a man is pictured pointing a gun at a camera with words that read, “How to wink at a Muslim.” West has since apologized for the post and removed it, but not before the story about his posting went viral.

While, undoubtedly, some of the nearly 1,000 people who attended the event and preceding anti-Muslim and “free speech” rally were there to listen and learn, the overwhelming majority had another intention in mind – to intimidate, undermine and disrupt the event.

Their stated reason for being there? To protest what bloggers had called the government’s attempts to take away an individual’s First Amendment rights to post whatever he or she chooses on social media sites without repercussion.  The real reason, however, became apparent shortly after the presentation began.

Wrapped in American flags and waving Bibles, the protesters shouted, “speak English” at a Muslim man who has been in the United States for three decades. They cheered and clapped at photos of a burned mosque in Columbia, Tenn. They booed at photos of American Muslim soldiers killed while serving their country in the United States militaryThey accused all Muslims of being terrorists and yelled at them to “go home.”  Those who couldn’t get inside for the presentation due to overcrowded conditions called law enforcement officers “communists.” One man, who donned a confederate soldier’s cap, shouted, “Mohammed was a pedophile!”

There is no doubt that the majority of the people in Coffee County are embarrassed and ashamed by the actions of the people gathered at this assembly, and that many, if not the majority, of those in attendance, were from out of town. …

And finally, Hate Comes to Manchester, Tennessee by Drost Kokoye.  This is a first-hand account by one of the Muslim attendees/organizers of the “Public Discourse in a Diverse Society” forum, that was disrupted by anti-Islam hate groups in Manchester, TN. Although this incident was widely reported on in various media, many outlets left out the depth of hate that was on display Tuesday evening.

In recent years, there has been an alarming surge in anti-Islam hate group activity in Tennessee, especially in areas such as Rutherford and Coffee Counties.  This virulent hate was fully on display Tuesday night at the “Public Discourse in a Diverse Society” forum in Manchester.

Since 2010, our community has seen a concerted effort being made to demonize the religion of Islam and its adherents, with hate groups from all over the nation using our state as a staging ground for spewing negative propaganda.  This includes the effort to block the construction of the Murfreesboro Mosque, to the faux-outrage created when an elected official mistook a mop-sink in the state legislature for a “Muslim foot-bath.” Legislators who have fallen under the influence of these groups introduced an “anti-Sharia bill,” which would have made the practice of Islam punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Additionally, we have seen a normalization of increasingly violent rhetoric – such as a Facebook posting by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West, depicting a gun being pointed at Muslims.

Commissioner West’s posting “How to Wink at a Muslim” garnered national attention, due to the overt call to violence against a specific minority group.  Local Muslim groups such as the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and the American Center for Outreach (ACO) immediately asked West to issue an apology, due to the aggressive nature of the post in addition to Mr. West being a public official.  As this story went viral on social media, many key players in the Islamophobia industry latched themselves to the story, criticizing AMAC and ACO for demanding an apology.  Much to the chagrin of the anti-Islam groups, Mr. West issued an apology for his irresponsible post the next day.

Tuesday evening, the American Muslim Advisory Council hosted about “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” in Manchester, TN, as an open forum to discuss the dangerous effects of the rhetoric that was espoused by Mr. West in his post.  Those within well-funded Islamophobia Industry – such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) saw this as an ideal opportunity to fan the flames of hate in our back yard.  And while their so-called protest was done so under the guise of “defending free speech,” the reality is that the public is unaware of the nefarious affiliations of such groups.

Geller and Spencer and their organizations are listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate group leaders.”  They hold close affiliations with the English Defense League – a Neo-Nazi affiliated group that has employed violent tactics against the Muslim community in the UK.  Both Geller and Spencer were cited extensively (174 times between the two) in mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto, which was written shortly before he murdered over 80 people in Norway.  To put it plainly, these individuals recognized widely as being extremists – therefore it is highly concerning that so many citizens of Tennessee have bought into their overt message of hate and bigotry.

Groups like the TN Eagle Forum and ACT for America (also listed as nativist and hate groups, respectively) called for thousands of their followers to come to this public forum to “stand up for their first amendment rights” that they claimed AMAC is trying to limit. These groups turned out people from all over Tennessee. Personally, I spoke with folks from Bristol, Sparta, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Tullahoma. They showed up in front of the Manchester Coffee County Conference Center hours before the forum. Geller and Spencer joined in around 5:30pm, ensuring the crowd was primed and riled up – including rhetoric that alluded to justifying violence.

After the outdoor protest, waves of people flooded the hall at 6:20pm.  All the seats were taken with in the first five minutes so people started to post up along the walls, near the doors, outside the doors, in the lobby, and all the way out to the entrance of the building.

The AMAC program had yet to begin, when Eagle Forum members (who also brought their own American flag) took it upon themselves to stand up and recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.”  Everyone else in the room, Eagle Forum member or not, joined them, for one of the most aggressive recitations of the Pledge that I’ve ever heard, followed by a long and loud applause.

At 6:30 pm, Zak Mohyuddin, an AMAC Board Member and long time resident of Coffee County, began the forum with an introduction to who and what AMAC is.

Before he could even get a sentence out, he was interrupted by a comment from the audience, “speak English!”

The panel continued as follows:

Zulfat Suara – AMAC Board Chair

Dorothy Zwayyed – AMAC East Tennessee Coordinator

Sabina Mohyuddin – AMAC Board Member and long time Coffee County resident

Bill Killian – U.S. Attorney DOJ Eastern District of Tennessee

Kenneth L. Moore – special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division

Throughout the program, the speakers were plagued with interruptions, jeers and epithets being lobbed at them. Whenever examples of cooperation between the American Muslim community and law enforcement were highlighted, the crowd would yell, “Infiltrators,” Terrorists,” and “go home! 

As a representative of the Muslim community who was participating in the forum, the words of hate that I heard spoken on this day are something that I will not forget for a long time.

As I stood up to gather index cards for the Q&A session, a man from the crowd said, “Watch out, she might blow up!”  – Which was met by rousing laughter, rather than disgust.

As one of the Muslim speakers from the event finished, another individual exclaimed “FINALLY!  Can we burn her at the stake now?” – which was also met by laughter and cheers.

When bullying and discrimination that kids face in schools was brought up, one woman yelled,“Leave our children out of this. They hate you.”

Finally, during a portion of the presentation – a picture of a mosque, which had been destroyed by arson, was shown.  Rather than responding with compassion, the hateful attendees responded with applause and cheers.

Although the goal of the forum was to foster dialog and positive engagement – it is clear that Geller, Spencer and the hate groups came to cause divisiveness and hate.  It is saddening that some Tennesseans have succumbed to this temptation, as it brings back dark memories from our nation’s past.  On a positive note, many in attendees from the community greeted us with goodwill and assured us that the haters do not represent them or the majority of people out there.  Though a small gesture, this helped end an otherwise tense night on a positive note.  As we move forward from this eye-opening evening – the hope is that Tennesseans will take the lead in denouncing and marginalizing these fringe groups, while fostering an environment of positivity and inclusion.

The Islamophobes Latest Fantasy Rape Fatwa

The Islamophobes Latest Fantasy Rape Fatwa

Sheila Musaji

Robert Spencer wrote Syria: Christians flee rebel areas as fatwa authorizes rape of non-Sunni women.  He introduces an article from Independent Catholic News with his own comment: “According to the sheikh, capturing and raping Alawi or Christian women is not contrary to the precepts of Islam.” Imagine the outcry if a Christian cleric had said that capturing and raping non-Christian women was not contrary to the precepts of Christianity. But no one will take any particular notice of this.”

The same story was peddled by Raymond Ibrahim on David Horowitz’ Frontpage Magazine.  (Spencer’s Jihad Watch site is also a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.)  Ibrahim even brings up again the “gang rape fatwa” claim of another such fatwa by Muhammad al-Arifi which has been thoroughly debunked by Ali Abunimah in the article How AlterNet and Salon fell for “gang rape” fatwa peddled by Islamophobes.

Such false stories spread by the Islamophobia rumor mill have become common, and whether or not to respond to them has been a serious discussion within the Muslim community.  As Robert Crane said in Gang Rape and Global Ethics: The New Challenge of Phobic Orientalism

… The question is whether the power of the internet to expose Islamophobic disinformation and delegitimize it is greater than the power of the internet to promote falsehood either deliberately or innocently, as in the case of Muslims who spread the now debunked myth of a Saudi shaykh legitimizing gang rape.

The Qur’an states that whoever is guilty of spreading defamatory tales about another person without proof is just as guilty as is the originator. But does this apply to one whose objective is to attack the story in order to bring out truth and support justice?

…  The media industry of Islamophobia has been in full swing ever since the collapse of Communism almost a quarter century ago. One question is whether it would it be better to ignore it and instead explain enlightened Islam, or whether the emphasis should be on exposing and thereby spreading the lies of the Islamophobes as a means to stop it?

Perhaps there is no answer to this factual and moral question, but the power of evil going viral in the era of instantaneous communication by individuals to millions of other individuals makes this issue increasingly important in the new era of global ethics and normative jurisprudence, once termed “moral theology” in traditional Christian philosophy and now in Islamic jurisprudence called the maqasid al shari’ah.

Sheikh Musa Furber looked into the “facts” behind this latest story.  He writes Latest Episode in the “Gang Rape” Fatwa Frenzy:

Earlier I wrote about the media’s (and public’s) infatuation with scandalous fatawa, like the“gang rape” fatwa currently making its rounds. This latest fatwa story made its way into English via an article in [Human Events] which attributed the fatwa to “Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-‘Ajlawni,” currently residing in Jordan and formerly in Damascus. Another piece by the same author links to a March 12 article on tayyar.org as its source. Ten minutes of digging produces an earlier March 11 article in Jordan News, naming the Salafi Sheikh as “Yasin al-‘Ajlawni,” currently residing in Irbid, Jordan. The article includes comments from a “Yasin Ahmad Yasin al-‘Ajlawni” who explains the backstory of his fatwa. He explicitly denounces calling for the rape of Syrian non-Muslim women and states that his fatwa called for protecting Syrian women from the rapes committed by the Syrian army itself.

The latest development comes in an April 7 article in Independent Catholic News concerning Aleppo’s Christian community. It includes the following:

Fr David [Fernandez, a missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word] said: “Yesterday, Yasir al-Ajlawni – a Jordanian Salafi sheikh, resident in Damascus, released a fatwa on Youtube, declaring that it is lawful for opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad to rape “any Syrian woman not Sunni. According to the sheikh, capturing and raping Alawi or Christian women is not contrary to the precepts of Islam.”

There is much wrong with this claim. First, the Jordanian Salafi would be “Yasin al-Ajlawni” not “Yasir al-Ajlawni.” Second, he is a resident of Irbid, Jordan, not Damascus, Syria. Third, Yasir al-Ajlawni denied making such a fatwa. Forth, the fatwa he referred to predates April 6 by many weeks.

There is a story here. But the story is not about actual gang rape fatwas but rather the use of hoax fatwas in the propaganda war against the Syrian opposition.

Are there some extremist Muslim scholars, and some who have issued fatwas that require a response from mainstream Muslim scholars.  Absolutely!  Are mainstream Muslim scholars attempting to counter these extremists with clarifying fatwas and statements?  Absolutely!

Continuously coming up with these “fantasy fatwas” as part of an effort to demonize the entire Muslim community does no one any good. I have long wondered why it is that if Muslims and Islam are so terrible, why do Islamophobes find the need to make up so many lies in order to prove that allegation?

The fact that these “news stories” and articles are simply wrong doesn’t change the fact that they are “out there” and that they will be read and believed by many of the same folks who believe the supermarket tabloids.  They will be forwarded or passed on, and commented on, and the stories will grow and more and more people will accept them as “facts”.

When Muslims are charged with something the word Islam or Muslim is attached to whatever crime they are accused of, and the story makes the front page headlines, when they are found not guilty or innocent, that goes somewhere on the back pages in small print.

The comments left on internet sites by the readers of these sorts of articles show the sort of response this sort of propoganda provokes.  What I don’t understand is who gains by such demonization of an entire faith.

See also:

About that Supposed Egyptian Necrophilia Law & fatwa, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/about-that-egyptian-necrophilia-law
About that “wear a veil or be raped story”, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/about-that-wear-a-veil-or-be-raped-story
Crucifixions in Egypt & Al Azhar Fatwas Encouraging Violence?: More Islamophobic Nonsense, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/crucifixion-story
Cucumber “fatwa” seems to be only shoddy reporting, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cucumber-fatwa
Exhibit A in How an Islamophobic Meme Can Spread Like Wildfire Across the Internet, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini http://www.alternet.org/world/exhibit-how-easily-islamophobic-meme-can-spread-wildfire-across-internet
Fatwas & Statements by Muslim Scholars & Organizationshttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_part_i_fatwas
Gang Rape and Global Ethics: The New Challenge of Phobic Orientalism, Dr. Robert D. Cranehttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/gang-rape-and-global-ethics-the-new-challenge-of-phobic-orientalism
Pamela Geller Wrong About “Sexual Jihad” Fatwa, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/pamela-geller-on-sexual-jihad-fatwa
Geller and Spencer Fantasize About “Muslim Rapists” in Norway, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/geller_and_spencer
Holier than thou: extremism against Islam, Sheikh Musa Furberhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/holier-than-thou-extremism-against-islam
Islamophobes See “Jihad” Everywhere, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/jihad-everywhere
The Media’s Infatuation With “Gang Rape” Fatwa, Sheikh Musa Furberhttp://musafurber.com/blog/blog/2013/04/04/the-medias-infatuation-with-gang-rape-fatwa/
Resources for dealing with Islamophobes, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/there-is-a-reason/0019403
Sharia, Fatwas and Women’s Rights, Asghar Ali Engineerhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/sharia_fatwas_and_womens_rights
Syrian rape ‘fatwa’ hoax exposed, Alexander Baron http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/347521
What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what_everyone_knows
What is a fatwa? Who can give one? (supposed Al Azhar fatwa authorizing violence against protestors), Sheikh Musa Furber http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what-is-a-fatwa-who-can-give-one
Yes, MEMRI, there is a Fatwa from Khamenei forbidding Nukes, Juan Colehttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/yes-memri-there-is-a-fatwa-from-khamenei-forbidding-nukes

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RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifestofor spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messagesinto public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or thatnothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence,  are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense.

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyyajihadsharia, etc.).

The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:

Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant, inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue.  That Muslims don’t helpChristians in need.  That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites,Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community,  that mosques are the sourceof radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are notloyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,

Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a“green peril”, that was spread by the sword,  an “evil encroaching on the United States”, andnot a religion.

Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threatto America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years.  Muslims are a threat to America

Everyone “knows” that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution, they don’t obey the laws of the United States,  that they are opposed to freedom of speech, don’t allow and freedom of religion.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.

Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.

Everyone “knows” that the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, and does not include the concept of a Golden Rule,  that Allah is a moon god.

Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”.  This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t have a sense of humor

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are like the Fascists and Nazis and that in fact they supported those movements.

The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  – we are in danger from creeping Sharia, – the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  -  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  -  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    - Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or theunindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU reportReligious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji (https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )

Pamela Geller’s False Claim that Muslims Curse Christians and Jews in Their Daily Prayers

Pamela Geller’s False Claim that Muslims Curse Christians and Jews in Their Daily Prayers

by Sheila Musaji
Pamela Geller said Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to.  That’s deeply troubling.  And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day.  I don’t think they know that. in a 10/8/2010 article in the New York Times.

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic wondered about the accuracy of this statement and did a little research:

I sent some of Geller’s quotes to my friend Reuel Gerecht, a genuine expert on Islam, to see what he thought of them. Reuel, as many of you know, is no apologist for radical Islamism; quite the opposite. He believes we are at war with a dangerous ideology. But he also has respect for Islam, and a great deal of knowledge of it. Here is what he says about Geller’s assertions:

I have to plead an embarrassing ignorance about Pamela Geller.  I was well aware of the Internet-driven opposition to Feisal Abd ar-Rauf’s Ground Zero/Park 51 mosque, but had not entered her name into my memory.  I don’t read blogs much—except Goldblog and those that publish me—and I was more than a little taken back when Jeffrey sent me a note containing comments by Ms. Geller about English translations of the Qur’an.  The intersection of politics, public policy, and scholarship isn’t always pretty, and we are most often fortunate that scholars don’t write our domestic and foreign policies.   However, there is a certain deference that activists must give to scholars when they tread on what is clearly academic terrain.  A good cause—and Ms. Geller’s general concern about the harm that violent Islamic militants can do is an estimable fight—is no excuse for agitprop and what amounts to a slur against some of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century.  According to the New York Times, Ms. Geller has stated:

Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to.  That’s deeply troubling.  And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day.  I don’t think they know that.

Let’s take the Qur’an first, Muslim prayers second.  Concerning the translation of the Muslim Holy Book, who might these Islamic scholars be?  Since Ms. Geller is without Arabic, it’s impossible for her to compare the original to a translation.  She must depend upon others, who, if I follow Ms. Geller, are involved in a conspiracy to hide the ugly truth about Islam.  If the translations were more “accurate,” we would all see what’s apparent to Ms. Geller, who ascertained the truth despite the blinding scholarly conspiracy.  One has to ask whether Ms. Geller has perused the translation masterpiece by Cambridge’s late great A.J. Arberry or my personal favorite, the awesomely erudite, more literal translation and commentary by Edinburgh’s late great Richard Bell?  Both gentlemen are flag-waving members of Edward Said’s most detested species—Orientalists.  Now if you look at these translations—especially if you look at Bell’s, which is blessed with exhaustive notes in a somewhat complicated formatting—even the uninitiated can get an idea that Muhammad had trouble with Christians and especially Jews during his life.  If you look at the Qur’anic commentary by Edinburgh’s late great William Montgomery Watt (another Orientalist), who was always attentive to Muslim sensibilities in his writings, you can also find in clear English Muhammad’s unpleasant ruminations about Christians and Jews.

Now what all of this means to contemporary Islamic militancy is a very long discussion, for which I suspect that Ms. Geller doesn’t have abundant patience.  Islam has been having awful problems absorbing modernity; its travails so far—let us underscore—have been less bloody than what we witnessed as Christianity modernized.  Any non-Muslim certainly has the right to study, question, and criticize the Islamic faith, as Muslims have the (well-exercised) right to let loose against what they see as the imperfections of Christianity, Judaism, and humanist secularism (the West’s dominant faith).   As Iran’s robust, astonishing intellectual wars over the last twenty years have shown, it’s good for Muslims and non-Muslims not to pull their punches.  Muslims should never be treated as children, which is a debilitating disposition found widely now on the American Left.  (President Obama has not helped.)   But the great Islamic scholars of the past did not lie.  There is no conspiracy.  We are blessed with illuminating English translations of the Muslim Holy Book.  Ms. Geller might consider blogging less, and reading more.

And about Muslim prayer:  I certainly have no perfect way of knowing what Muslims think when they pray, but I really do think they know what they’re doing.  If westernized Muslims are facing the Almighty, they know what’s in their hearts.  Devout Muslims need not hate Jews and Christians to worship the Creator.  Christians have slaughtered Jews through the centuries.  But it would be theologically atrocious to believe that the Christian message requires Jewish blood. (Christians’ killing Jews so often did provoke some Christians to question the foundation of their faith—a theologically estimable exercise.)  The Prophet Muhammad is certainly a different kind of historical figure than Jesus, but it should not be startling to discover that Muslims through the centuries have not seen the prophet’s slaughter of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina as a mainstay of their creed.  In my experience—and I’m intuiting here—most Muslims do not think about Jews and Christians at all when they pray.  Suffering, in all its merciless variety, takes center stage, I suspect.   When I’ve watched Muslim pilgrims come to Sunni and Shiite tombs and sacred sites in Egypt,  Turkey, and Iraq, I’ve not seen a conquering people.  I’ve usually just seen misery and the human hope that good fortune will come with a better heart.   I’ve seen fraternity among a men who live in lands where fraternal behavior is rare.  Ms. Geller would do well to travel more.   It’s a very good and essential cause to fight jihadism, but such a struggle should not incline us to maul Islamic history or to treat Muslims as if they were merely a walking version of this surah or that legal treatise.   Christians and Jews and atheists are much more than the sum of their parts.   So, too, are Muslims.

After this exchange, Geller’s partner, Robert Spencer published a defense of Geller’s statement in which he brings in “translations” like the Hilali-Khan, commentaries and interpretations as if they represent what most Muslims (or particularly American Muslims, or “westernized Muslims” as Geller calls them) understand about the meaning of Surah Fatiha.  The Hilali-Khan translation is an extremist interpretation of the Qur’an produced in Saudi Arabia and given out free.  I wrote about the Hilali-Khan translation at length here.  Here are a few passages from that article:

The number of comments in parenthesis in this particular translation is more than excessive, and instead of clarifying the text or explaining a word or phrase that cannot be easily translated into English, these comments make the text very difficult to follow and often distort rather than amplify the meaning.

The appendices contain discussions of Christian versus Muslim beliefs that read more like a polemical debate and really do not belong as part of a translation.

I will give just a few examples of the difficulties with this translation.  Sadly, I could give many more examples, but these should sufice to show the extremist character of this translation.

Beginning immediately with Surah Fatiha 1:1 (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) we find a translation not to be found anywhere else:

“Guide us to the Straight Way.  The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who have earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).” (HK translation 1:1-7)

This can only give the impression to any non-Muslim or Muslim who either does not have fluency in Arabic or access to individuals with competency in Classical Qur’anic Arabic that the Qur’an denounces all Jews and Christians.  This is a great untruth.

This unique translation is then followed by an extremely long footnote which justifies this hateful translation based on traditions from texts that go back to the Middle Ages (Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, Tabari) as if these are the only interpretations, and without any discussion of the history of these commentaries and the hadiths on which they are based.

…  In the interests of preserving the purity of the Qur’an as much as possible for non-Arabic speakers and also as a means to combat the tirades of professional Islam bashers and Muslim haters, I would strongly recommend that every copy of the Hilali-Khan translation be removed from every mosque in the U.S.  …  This current crisis (and many others), I believe is a direct result of such translations as the Hilali-Khan which have been responsible for influencing some Muslims with extremist interpretations (and also providing them “justification” for criminal actions), and for providing Islamophobes with “proof” of the supposed “savagery” of Islam.  Basically, this translation (and others like it) are propaganda coming out of Saudi Arabia which attempts to spread their particular supremacist, divisive, bigoted, and very dangerous interpretation of Islam.

There are only two groups who equate jihad and terrorism – the terrorists and the Islamophobes.

Across the world, even in countries where Muslims and their non-Muslim neighbors have lived together for centuries in peace, we are seeing violence against churches and against minorities, and seeing violent non-Islamic responses to the provocations of Islamophobes.  Why?

I believe that propaganda such as the Hilali-Khan translation and other materials coming primarily out of Saudi Arabia are one of the root causes.

We need a counter-narrative, not only to the Islamophobes, but to the Muslim extremists, and our scholars and community leaders need to help get the message of traditional Islam out to the masses.

I believe that it is time for ordinary Muslims to go into their local mosque or Islamic bookstore and see if this translation is there, and if it is to ask the Imam or mosque leadership to remove it immediately and dispose of it in the appropriate Islamic manner.  And, it is time for the leadership of national organizations to speak out loudly and clearly condemning such translations and materials.  The Saudi’s may provide “free” copies of this translation, but there is a cost, and we are all paying it.

Here is a transliteration and translation of Sura Fatiha by Shakh Kabir Helminski of the Threshold Society:

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen
Aameen

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen.

Here is the introduction to this verse from the translation by Muhammad Asad

THIS SURAH is also called Fatihat al-Kitab (“The Opening of the Divine Writ”), Umm al-Kitab (“The Essence of the Divine Writ”), Surat al-Hamd (“The Surah of Praise”), Asas al-Qur’an (“The Foundation of the Qur’an”), and is known by several other names as well. It ismentioned elsewhere in the Qur’an as As-Sab’ al-Mathani (“The Seven Oft-Repeated[Verses]”) because it is repeated several times in the course of each of the five daily prayers.According to Bukhari, the designation Umm al-Kitab was given to it by the Prophet himself,and this in view of the fact that it contains, in a condensed form, all the fundamental principleslaid down in the Qur’an: the principle of God’s oneness and uniqueness, of His being theoriginator and fosterer of the universe, the fount of all life-giving grace, the One to whom manis ultimately responsible, the only power that can really guide and help; the call to righteousaction in the life of this world (“guide us the straight way”); the principle of life after deathand of the organic consequences of man’s actions and behaviour (expressed in the term “Dayof Judgment”); the principle of guidance through God’s message-bearers (evident in thereference to “those upon whom God has bestowed His blessings”) and, flowing from it, the principle of the continuity of all true religions (implied in the allusion to people who havelived – and erred – in the past); and, finally, the need for voluntary self-surrender to the will of the Supreme Being and, thus, for worshipping Him alone. It is for this reason that this surahhas been formulated as a prayer, to be constantly repeated and reflected upon by the believer.“The Opening” was one of the earliest revelations bestowed upon the Prophet. Someauthorities (for instance, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib) were even of the opinion that it was the very firstrevelation; but this view is contradicted by authentic Traditions quoted by both Bukhari andMuslim, which unmistakably show that the first five verses of surah 96 (“The Germ-Cell”)constituted the beginning of revelation. It is probable, however, that whereas the earlier revelations consisted of only a few verses each, “The Opening” was the first surah revealed tothe Prophet in its entirety at one time: and this would explain the view held by ‘Ali.

Here is Asad’s translation and commentary

In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
ALL PRAISE is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds,
the Most Gracious,the Dispenser of Grace,
Lord of the Day of Judgment!
Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.
Guide us the straight way, the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,
not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!

According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of everysurah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of “The Opening” and is,therefore, numbered as verse 1. In all other instances, the invocation “in the name of God” precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. – Both the divine epithets rahman and rahim are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies “mercy”, “compassion”,“loving tenderness” and, more comprehensively, “grace”. From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibnal-Qayyim (as quoted in Manar I,48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God’s Being, whereas rahim expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation – in other words, an aspect of His activity.

In this instance, the term “worlds” denotes all categories of existence both in the physicaland the spiritual sense. The Arabic expression rabb – rendered by me as “Sustainer” -embraces a wide complex of meanings not easily expressed by a single term in another language.It comprises the ideas of having a just claim to the possession of anything and, consequently,authority over it, as well as of rearing, sustaining and fostering anything from its inceptionto its final completion. Thus, the head of a family is called rabb ad-dar (“master of the house”) because he has authority over it and is responsible for its maintenance; similarly, his wifeis called rabbat ad-dar (“mistress of the house”). Preceded by the definite article al, the designation rabb is applied, in the Qur’an, exclusively to God as the sole fosterer andsustainer of all creation – objective as well as conceptual – and therefore the ultimatesource of all authority.

According to almost all the commentators, God’s “condemnation” (ghadab, lit., “wrath”) is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by wilfully rejecting God’s guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. Some commentators (e.g., Zamakhshari)interpret this passage as follows: “… the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings – those who have not been condemned [by Thee], and who do not go astray”: inother words, they regard the last two expressions as defining “those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings”. Other commentators (e.g., Baghawi and Ibn Kathir) do not subscribeto this interpretation – which would imply the use of negative definitions – and understand the last verse of the surah in the manner rendered by me above. As regards the two categoriesof people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g., Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad ‘Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred “God’s condemnation” – that is, having deprived themselves of His grace – are thosewho have become fully cognizant of God’s message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by “those who go astray” are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all,or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them.

And, before Pamela Geller gets too attached to her specious claims, she should consider that the Blessing/Benediction recited each morning by Orthodox Jews is the following“Blessed are you O God, King of the Universe, Who has not made me . . . ” and conclude, respectively, “a goy [Gentile],” “a slave,” and “a woman.”
UPDATE 6/1/2011

Another Islamophobe, Andrew Bostom has jumped on this bandwagon of insisting that the Hilali-Khan translation/commentary reflects the meaning of Surah Fatiha.

UPDATE 1/29/2012

Geller again raises this spurious issue saying: “The Muslims refer to Christians in their daily prayers as “those who are led astray” (Muslims curse Christians and Jews multiple times in daily prayers). This madness validates their contempt and supremacism.”
UPDATE 2/11/2013

Geller is nothing if not consistent.  Today she published Hamas-CAIR leads Arizona State Senate in anti-Jewish, Anti-Christian Prayer raising this same debunked issue yet again. She says:  “How many people actually know that every time Muslims get down on their knees, posteriors in the air, they are cursing Christian and Jews? Obama says, “respect it!”

All of this fury on the part of Geller (and her partner in hate Robert Spencer) was because an Arizona Imam, Anas Hlayhel, who is also the Chairman of the Arizona Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations CAIR-AZ led the Arizona State Senate’s prayer invocation with a reading of Surah al-Fatiha.

Sheila Musaji: Robert Spencer Discovers Halloween Jihad

Let the loony Islamophobic conspiracies about a war on Halloween begin. (h/t: CriticalDragon)

Robert Spencer discovers Halloween Jihad

by Sheila Musaji

Robert Spencer finds it noteworthy enough to note on Jihad Watch that Seattle elementary school bans Halloween costumes: they could offend students from “other cultures”.

He engages in his typical snarky innuendo:

Gee, I wonder which culture would have students in the Seattle elementary schools who would be offended by Halloween costumes. Still, there is no indication that any Islamic supremacist group demanded this ban; the school officials are just playing the dhimmi on their own initiative. Please write them, politely and respectfully, and ask them why American culture always takes a back seat to others, and why they’re pandering to an imaginary offense.

And, of course, his partner Pamela Geller also posted an article on this non-story, sayingDismantling America, piece by cultural piece, law by American law …… the parents ought to protest en masse – in costume.

The article Spencer and Geller refer to says only that a Seattle school has banned students from dressing up in costume for Halloween this year at school.  One district representative said that costumes “could offend and upset students who come from other cultures”.  The principal of the school said that “This decision was made by the entire staff after two deep and detailed discussions. The initial conversation was initiated by staff members who suggested that since Halloween falls this year on a half day of school, we not allow costumes. It takes students a while to change into their costumes, and students are distracted taking away from the already limited instructional time.

That’s it, the whole story that is known from this.  We don’t know whether or not any parent made any request or complaint to the district or to the school.  We don’t know what is the demographic of the community where this school is located.  Blaming this decision on some sort of Muslim plot, or a self-imposed fear of a possible Muslim reaction, to take away an American holiday is absolute nonsense.

To jump to the conclusion that Spencer does from this very limited information is a clear sign of his deeply held Islamophobia.  We know that Spencer is blaming Muslims for this school decision because he says the school officials are “playing dhimmi” on their own initiative.  Is it only some Muslims who don’t celebrate Halloween?

Here is a quote from one such “dhimmi” who refuses to participate in American culture:

“I think we ought to close Halloween down. Do you want your children to dress up as witches? The Druids used to dress up like this when they were doing human sacrifice…[The children] are acting out Satanic rituals and participating in it, and don’t even realize it.”Pat Robertson, “The 700 Club,” 1982-OCT-29

Robertson is not exactly known for his fondness for Islam or Muslims.  I wonder is Spencer will ask his followers to write letters to The 700 Club to complain about Robertson’s attempts to “dismantle America”.

If any parents did say something to the school or district administration, they might have been parents from just about any religious or cultural background.

Yes, there are some Muslims who are opposed to celebrating Halloween, for a variety of reasons.  The reasons given are pretty much identical with the reasons that many Christians and Jews are opposed to celebrating the holiday.  There is a wide range of opinion within all of these communities about the holiday, what it means, and why it should not be celebrated, or can be celebrated as simply a cultural event.

Read the rest…

Eric Allen Bell: “Zero Tolerance – DESTROY ISLAM”

"Can I haz cheeeezeburger?"

JihadWatch Zombie Eric Allen Bell (aka Eric Edborg) calls for Muslims to  be excluded from all the “free countries” in the world. Does he have a list of “free countries” in the world? Surely countries that battled Western colonialists and their imperial puppets will be counted as “free”, right?

In a height of irony he forwards his strange ideas about “freedom” only extending to the groups of his ‘choosing.’ He wants to create a test by which Muslims are questioned about Islam, and if they refuse to denounce it are “sent back home.”

Hmmm…I wonder who else advocated such positions? Oh yeah, the Conquistadores who decided to expel all Muslims and Jews from Andalucia, and the Spanish Church, who during the Inquisition burned at the stake, tortured and otherwise killed and or expelled secret Muslims and Jews, known as Moriscos and Marranos.

Of course such sentiments are in the spirit of Bell’s teacher, the self-described Crusader enthusiast and wannabe-Consquitador Robert Spencer, who has expressed his love of the Crusades in writing as well as his desire to annihilate the Turks and recapture “Anatolia” and “Constantinople” for Christianity by joining a Facebook group that advocated such positions.

Eric Allen Bell’s Accusations Typical of Islamophobic Spin Machine – updated 10/13/12

by Sheila Musaji (TheAmericanMuslim) 

On 10/11, Bell posted an article Zero Tolerance – DESTROY ISLAM.  In this truly disgusting screed, he makes the impassioned plea:

…  We cannot wait for some elected leader to get it and do the right thing. They are mostly weak. They are more interested in focus groups than following their moral intuition or even protecting the Constitution. As the saying goes, “When the people lead, the leaders will follow”.  It is the moral responsibility of all free and civilized people to fight tyranny and to end it. And no political system is more tyrannical than Islam. Followers of such an evil political ideology should not be admitted into any free country in the world – and those who refuse to denounce it must be sent back home.  We must end the tyranny of Islam. We must destroy Islam. We must end Sharia in our time. We must absolutely destroy Islam absolutely – and leave the free world a better place for generations to come.Islam appeals to the darkest qualities in the human psyche.  Freedom seeks to evolve. And that which seeks to undermine our evolution must be moved out of the way - by any means necessary.

This is as close as an individual can come to calling for genocide or violent action, and yet possibly remain within the letter of the law. It is hateful, and completely savage.

Sheila Musaji: Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer Discover “fireworks jihad”

Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer discover “fireworks jihad”

by Sheila Musaji (The American Muslim)

Some individuals like Pamela Geller are so anxious to find anything at all that is negative about Islam or Muslims that they are willing to pass on any unsubstantiated rumor from anywhere as “proof” that Muslims are evil.  Geller’s professed “love” for Muslims is expressed as pathological hatred.

Geller posted an article Sharia in Colorado: Special accommodations for a special class, Muslims.  She said

Once again we see special rules for Muslims in accordance with the sharia and Islamic supremacism. Anywhere American law and Islamic law conflict, it is American law that has to give way. Check this out from Atlas reader Chris:

Very few are talking about it here in Denver Colorado. American citizens were banned from celebrating our national birthday the Fourth of July. Fireworks were and are still banned unless it was to celebrate the end of Ramadan. I have asked several police officers what the huge fireworks show was and they replied that it was the local Islamic center celebrating. I then asked if the statewide ban on fireworks was still in effect and they said yes. So logically I asked did they have a permit for such a large display. The answer was no and that the police were not to respond to calls about it.

Robert Spencer (the self proclaimed “acclaimed scholar of Islam”) posted the same article with the same dubious source with the longer title Sharia in action in Colorado: Muslims set off fireworks in defiance of ban, police told to ignore complaints and the introduction “A statewide ban on fireworks is not a statewide ban on fireworks when Muslims are setting them off. To enforce the ban would be “Islamophobic,” doncha know.”

Actually, no one is talking about it except Geller and the sites that picked up this non-story from her.  The only source for the story is some guy named Chris who posted a comment on her site.

If she had done just a little fact checking, she would have discovered first, that no one else other than her reader, Chris, had reported on this supposed story, and also that on July 9th Gov. John Hickenlooper had lifted the Colorado fire ban and more than 60 Colorado counties moved to moderate to low fire danger.

Geller, Spencer, and the rest of the Islamophobia echo chamber are stark raving mad!  They see Jihad everywhere and in almost all cases it doesn’t exist except in their fevered Islamophobic brains.  Here are just a few ridiculous claims about nonsensical Muslim plots:

An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”.   A children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid was described as a toxic propaganda plot.  Joel Hinrichs (a Christian) had a beard and had walked through the parking lot of a campus mosque thus proving that his crime was an example of sudden jihad syndrome.   The awful April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech by a Korean student was also called Islamic jihad because Cho’s father had once worked in Saudi Arabia (before he was married and before Cho was born).  A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”.   A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became astealth-jihad plot to impose Sharia on America.  Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad.  Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”.  A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”.  The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad.

The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of false and “shocking” Muslim jihad plots.  They have uncovered:  bumper sticker jihad,  Thanksgiving turkey jihad, an incrediblepaisley scarf jihadmarriage to important men jihadspit jihadfashion jihadspelling bee jihadrape jihad,  defacing dollar bills jihad,   population jihadcreeping Sharia jihad,  mosque building jihadterror baby jihad“creeping Sharia” jihad,  pedophilia jihad,  bus driver prayer jihadforehead bruise jihadpostage stamp jihadsoup jihad,  banning alcohol jihad,fake hate crimes jihadpiggy bank jihad,  tv reality series jihadhandshake jihadprom jihad,interfaith jihadArabic language jihad,  public school jihadreligious accommodation jihad,Crescent moon jihadChristmas tree tax jihadoath of office jihadimmigration jihad,community fundraiser jihad.  Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU reportReligious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured (with extensive backgrounder articles) in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that these individuals are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

These people consistently promote the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims.   They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

The claim that “truth tellers” are being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia is nonsense.

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.   The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, and it isalso strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism.

Sheila Musaji: Robert Spencer Uses 4th of July to Spread Islamophobia

Robert Spencer is lost

Spencer‘s always on the prowl to demean Muslims and spread Islamophobia (h/t: Critical Dragon):

Robert Spencer uses 4th of July to spread Islamophobia

by Sheila Musaji (The American Muslim)

Robert Spencer cannot let any opportunity go by to find a way to make a negative statement about Islam and Muslims.  Today, he used the occasion of the celebration of OUR nation’s Independence Day, the 4th of July to find a way to target American Muslims rather than to simply express his patriotism.

In his article, he lists four freedoms that “we” must defend.  In his commentary on what “we” must defend against, he uses only examples that he thinks represent Muslim attitudes at variance with the Constitution, and most of the examples he gives are from other countries, and from ancient texts.  According to the worldview Spencer is promoting, Muslims are anti-Constitution, anti-American, and untrustworthy and disloyal citizens.  It is clear that the “we” he refers to does not include Muslims.  He doesn’t mention any other individuals or groups who might pose a threat to our Constitution.  He also doesn’t mention any positive contributions of Muslims toward defending the Constitution and our freedoms.

Spencer only gives three references to American Muslims, and those in his first point.  Omar Ahmed, the individual accused of making one of the statements denies that he ever made this statement.  The supposed quote from the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum is questionable at best (see Muslim Brotherhood Document of the Muslim or Islamophobic Lunatic Fringe?).  The quote attributed to Ibrahim Hooper is not only out of context, but can be variously interpreted (see A response to Daniel Pipes’ allegations).

Here are the 4 freedoms Spencer mentions:

— 1. Freedom of religion, and non-establishment of religion.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” — First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
— 2. Freedom of speech “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” — First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
— 3. Equality of rights before the law “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Declaration of Independence
— 4. Governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.  “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” — Declaration of Independence

I would agree with him on the importance of these freedoms and many more (for example,habeas corpusthe rule of lawcivil rightssurveillance and profiling of citizens, etc.) and agree that all Americans must in every generation defend these freedoms from those who would undermine them.  American Muslims have strongly defended those freedoms:

1.  Freedom of religion, and non-establishment of religion.  American Muslim Academics/Scholars/Imams/Professionals issued a statement upholding the Freedom of Faith and the Freedom to Change one’s Faith.  And, many Muslims have spoken out about this issue.  See Apostasy and Freedom of Faith in Islam which includes a collection of articles.

2.  Freedom of speech.  American and Canadian Muslims issued a Defense of Freedom of Speech.  This statement specifically states that We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority.

3. Equality of rights before the law, and 4. Governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. See below.

Read the rest…

Is the U.S. Military “at war with Islam”?

 

Is the U.S. Military “at war with Islam”?

by Sheila Musaji (theamericanmuslim.org)
Here is the article that we previously posted on TAM on this issue:

The Currency of Words, or the Coin of the Realm?
by Mikey Weinstein

On Tuesday, April 24th, 2012, the nation’s top soldier, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) General Martin Dempsey, initiated a truly seminal message. He finally generated the long-overdue, mandatory edict that all training and educational materials throughout the U.S. military must be immediately reviewed within one month’s time to ensure that no anti-Muslim or anti-Islam references or content remain. Henceforth, officers and enlisted members will no longer be taught and institutionally indoctrinated that “the United States is at war with Islam and we ought to just recognize that.”

According to reports, this unprecedented top-down review is the result of a belated discovery at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA.  In the elective class “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” officers from all four branches of the military were indoctrinated with vile Islamophobic programs masquerading as “anti-terrorist” education.  In June 2007, Islamophobic extremist and shady Lebanese fundamentalist Christian, Brigitte Gabriel, delivered a lecture before the JFSC where she stated that there is no such thing as a “moderate Muslim” and that “America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam.” According to reports, this lecture was presented “as part of the school’s Islam elective.” It is worth noting that Gabriel is a Southern Lebanese Maronite Christian expat and speaker with the pro-Israeli Likudnik Hasbara Fellowships, who has for decades made a career of grossly oversimplifying the contradictions inherent in Middle Eastern affairs as a problem of good people dominated by a monolithic Muslim threat.

In February 2008, self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist,” “ex-Muslim,” fundamentalist Christian minstrels Walid Shoebat, Zachariah Anani, and Kamal Saleem were paid $13,000 to speak before the 50th Annual Academy Assembly at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO on the topic of “Dismantling Terrorism: Developing Actionable Solutions for Today’s Plague of Violence.” At this USAFA conference, as confirmed by many eye witness accounts, Walid Shoebat disgustingly stated “We have to kill Islam.”

Like Brigitte Gabriel, these bigoted stooges have made lucrative careers for themselves by peddling over-the-top, pathologically prejudiced perspectives on understanding the Muslim and Arab world while selling their own fabricated histories as “reformed” terrorist caricatures. Amazingly, they all claim to have abandoned Islam and embraced fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity. To call this heinous crew of dubious characters “con-artists” would be far too kind. Our civil rights foundation, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which represents approximately 10% of all Muslim American service members, responded by demanding equal time to counter these transparent frauds. This ultimatum resulted in speaking appearances at USAFA for MRFF Advisory Board Member and renowned Islam Scholar Reza Aslan, MRFF Board member and former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, and myself, MRFF founder and President Mikey Weinstein.

What JCS Chairman Gen. Dempsey seeks to investigate is a heinous curriculum of systemic, anti-Muslim hatred that has warped the cultural competence of United Staes service members, leading to grim results in combat theaters within which the U.S. has been engaged since 9/11. In 2012 alone there have been reports of bodies being urinated on by U.S. Marines, the proud and brazen display of the Nazi Waffen-SS banner by U.S. Marines, soldiers posing with corpses, and most insultingly, the burning of copies of the Qur’an at Bagram Air Field. Most recently, the Beaufort, South Carolina-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA-122) renamed themselves the “Crusaders” (a phrase which literally means “taking up the cross”) and adopted the iconography of the crusading, medieval Knights Templar. In a poor, strife-ridden nation such as Afghanistan, people have little to hold on to beyond strong familial and tribal bonds and a firm sense of national, ethnic, cultural and religious dignity. Sadly, racist and dehumanizing indoctrination by America’s own war machine has transformed all too many American war fighters into arrogant, marauding crusaders.

The long-overdue review of the appalling Islamophobic materials used to train our servicemen and servicewomen is a classic case of the proverbial closing of the barn door long after the farm animals have left. President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 starkly illustrated this fact. The ink had barely dried on the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by himself and Afghan President Hamid Karzai before car bombs and gunfire rattled Kabul in a daring Taliban attack centered on the high-security Green Village compound.  The faux triumphalism of Obama’s visit, meant to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the killing of archfiend Osama Bin Laden, was meant to prop up the illusion of impending “victory” in strife-torn Afghanistan. The foreboding warning of Rudyard Kipling presciently echoes through history and seemingly confounds present American efforts as it damned all others heretofore; “Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.”

Any casual observer with even a rudimentary understanding of modern military history understands how the Commander-in-Chief’s Kabul pep talk is in stark opposition with the gritty combat reality on the ground. Insurgent Taliban forces, in addition to wearing down the U.S. military in a steady process of attrition, are flat out winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. Additionally, attacks on U.S./NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel by allied Afghan soldiers and police officers have been consistently on the rise despite deliberate and pernicious underreporting by NATO officials, with the deaths of 19 ISAF service members this year alone due to “fratricide-murder incidents”. In hindsight, the Department of Defense-sanctioned anti-Muslim training programs have proven to be a quintessentially formidable propaganda asset in the Taliban fight against the “Crusading” NATO forces. Indeed, they provide grist for the mill of regional resentment and strain alliances to a breaking point. Far be it from the graceful and idyllic exit strategy fabricated by the Pentagon and championed by Obama just days ago in Kabul, many of us anxiously anticipate an Afghan departure that, at best, will resemble the Soviets’ feckless abandonment of its puppet “allies” in 1988. At worst, the U.S. exit may yet resemble the humiliating, frenetic scramble to evacuate the U.S. embassy during the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the old adage “better late then never” still applies. Those who allowed for these egregious violations of DoD-sponsored Islamophobia to take place must face stern and swift discipline for their complicity in the dissemination of bigoted disinformation that has placed American lives at dire risk. It is too late to regain lost ground on the Afghan war front. By ordering this comprehensive review for “taught hatred,” General Dempsey is signaling that within the Department of Defense he is apparently and allegedly serious about defending Constitutionally-guaranteed American civil rights and values. The General so signals with the easy currency of words. It’s yet to be seen whether these mere words will be followed, as is rarely the case in these “religious” matters at the Pentagon, with the substantive and true coin of the realm; deeds.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein is president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He previously served as White House Counsel in the Reagan administration and general counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corp. He is the author of the recently released book, “No Snowflake in an Avalanche: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Its Battle to Defend the Constitution and One Family’s Courageous War Against Religious Extremism in High Places” (2012, Vireo).  Source:  Alternet
UPDATE May 10, 2012

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) just sent this update after the information from Spencer Ackerman at Wired was released:

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/ ) is disgusted by the shocking revelation that officers from all four branches of the U.S. Military were instructed at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA, that the “option” of waging total war on civilian populations of the Muslim faith in a manner similar to the “historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” should be openly embraced and explored. The suggestion that the norms of international humanitarian law, as enshrined by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, are no longer relevant is a reprehensible and criminal concept that has no place in U.S. military doctrine.

U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam: WIRED Danger Room, May 10, 2012: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/total-war-islam/

“We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’…This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”

Such phrases, as uttered by JFSC faculty member Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, constitute openly genocidal hate speech—the likes of which have led to some of the worst horrors in modern history. What is most troubling, however, is the fact that such abhorrent sentiments were allowed for years to permeate the lecture halls of the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA (see below link for an Op-Ed on Anti-Muslim course content at JFSC, written on 5/08/12 by MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein). MRFF has long been aware of Islamophobic content taught at JFSC, including the use of pathologically bigoted and sectarian figures such as Walid Shoebat and Brigitte Gabriel, who were allowed to pass off their poisonous hatred as “expertise.” In spite of the recent cancellation of such content, as ordered by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. William Dempsey, the gravity of these new revelations makes one wonder how the culture within the U.S. military’s institutes of higher learning could become acclimated to such murderous concepts as the waging of total war against approximately 1.57 billion Muslim men, women, and children around the globe. Such sufficiently advanced incompetence is completely indistinguishable from willful malice.

MRFF calls on the Pentagon to expeditiously take concrete steps towards purging itself of exceptionalist, Christian supremacist, and sociopathic ideologies that have been allowed to bewitch influential figures within the highest echelons of military leadership. Firm countermeasures must be put in place to prevent the further propagation of criminal tactics and military strategies, as exemplified by the hypothetical destruction of Mecca and Medina (the paramount holy cities of the Muslim faith), and the reduction of Islam “to cult status” at the hands of a global “anti-Islamist” coalition bizarrely envisioned by JFSC faculty member Lt. Col. Dooley. Warped and racist perspectives which fail to distinguish between peaceful, civilian practitioners of religious faiths and the militant extremist adherents thereof must be decisively rooted out of U.S. military culture and academia. MRFF calls for the immediate dismissal of Lt. Col. Dooley, as well as an immediate condemnation, deeply probing investigation, and swift trial by courts-martial of those responsible for allowing content advocating genocide to be used to indoctrinate future leaders within the U.S. armed forces. It is high time that bloodthirsty, amoral, and nation-destroying concepts be stamped out of the educational institutions of our nation’s military, and that the time-honored, lofty traditions of our armed forces be restored to their proper place.

Pamela Geller and other Islamophobes are offended that the military is reconsidering such training and that Gen. Dempsey found it inappropriate.  Geller goes so far as to say that she sees the pulling of this course as “Islamic supremacist groups and their operatives have infiltrated the senior level of DoD, DoS, DoJ. They are disarming our military and law enforcement, and deceiving the American people through their operatives in the media.”

Geller’s partner (and fellow leader of SIOA which was designated as a hate group by the SPLC), Robert Spencer is also unhappy that the military is re-evaluating its’ training materials, but his real gripe seems to be with the fact that his name has come up as one of those spewing anti-Muslim hatred disguised as scholarship. Spencer finds no problem with the training material (although he says he hasn’t read it) but is angry that Spencer Ackerman made it public.

And, if anyone has any doubts about the effect such training materials have on those exposed to it, here is a comment under Spencer’s article:

“They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the instructor, Army. Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. The college, for professional military members, teaches midlevel officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war.

This is as accurate statement as any ever made about Islam. Muslims refuse to accept any non-Allah made law, explaining why no Muslim should ever be allowed to become a citizen or serve in the military because each such person is required to take – and mean from the heart – an oath to the US Constitution.  Muslim hate for everything we stand for is riddled throughout all of their (Muslim) dealings with us infidels”.

If anyone has “infiltrated” the military and law enforcement it seems to be the Islamophobes, and they are spreading exactly the same message as al Qaeda.  For far too long the military and government have relied in many of their training programs on a veritable who’s who of Islamophobes in America to provide innaccurate  and biased information.  Gen. Dempsey is correct, such training is “totally objectionable”.

Devon Chaffee discussed today on the ACLU blog why such anti-Muslim rhetoric aids no one but the real enemy – al Qaeda:

This is why Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense, had no patience for members of Congress who pressed him to articulate a so-called “Islamist Extremist Threat” at a hearing last December. Instead Secretary Stockton made clear that any articulation of U.S. enemies as Islamic was harmful to U.S. security stating:

“I’ll make it as clear as I can. We are not at war with Islam. [ ] Al Qaeda would love to convince Muslims around the world that the United States is at war with Islam… That is a prime propaganda tool. And I’m not going to aid and abet that effort to advance their propaganda goals.”

Given the blatant disconnect between the materials’ teachings about “total war” with Islam and Secretary Stockton’s strategic analysis, we have to ask: what are government agencies doing to reverse the impact of the anti-Muslim disinformation campaign that infiltrated their training? One would think that it would be in the United States’ interest to take immediate and effective action to remediate the counterproductive effects of biased training.

Yet, yesterday, FBI Director John Mueller defended the FBI’s recent review of its training materials before the House Judiciary Committee. Mueller minimized the scope of the problem and noted the creation of a new screening process. But for hundreds if not thousands of personnel already subjected to the biased training, the damage has already been done and continues to spread because the FBI has refused to withdraw intelligence products that further the same flawed concepts. Still Mueller, like Pentagon officials, has made no reference to whether he will pursue corrective training to counteract the impact of anti-Islam dogma.

Nor has any agency undertaking the White House-mandated review of training materials yet indicated that it will take steps to hold those responsible for biased trainings to account. In fact, there are some members of Congress urging agencies to get the bias put back into training materials. If there is no accountability, how will the relevant agencies ensure that trainers who were paid government funds only to propagate racial stereotypes aren’t awarded more training contracts in the future?

As more and more information about the biased trainings is made public, U.S. officials need to acknowledge that pulling the problematic materials is not, on its own, sufficient to repair the damage these trainings have caused. Corrective training and accountability are needed if these damaging past mistakes are to be remediated and avoided going forward.

Richard Bartholomew also published an article today that neatly lays out the history of how we got into this situation with anti-Muslim training, and provides numerous links to the original sources.  He says

Dempsey ordered a review of teaching materials last month. The story is now being reported widely – it’s even made its way onto the BBC Radio 4 Today programme (with input from Lawrence Kolb of the Center for American Progress - go to 2hr 46m 25s).

Yesterday, Wired reported on some of the material included in the course:

…For the better part of the last decade, a small cabal of self-anointed counterterrorism experts has been working its way through the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement communities, trying to convince whoever it could that America’s real terrorist enemy wasn’t al-Qaida — but the Islamic faith itself. In his course, Dooley brought in these anti-Muslim demagogues as guest lecturers. And he took their argument to its final, ugly conclusion.

…Dooley lays out a possible four-phase war plan to carry out a forced transformation of the Islam religion… International laws protecting civilians in wartime are “no longer relevant,” Dooley continues. And that opens the possibility of applying “the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” to Islam’s holiest cities, and bringing about “Mecca and Medina[‘s] destruction.”

Improper training on Islam for military and law-enforcement is a subject that has come under increasing scrutiny over the past year and a half: a critical article appeared in the Washington Post in December 2010, and there was a lengthy article in the Washington Monthly in March 2011 which prompted an expression of concern from Joe Lieberman, in his capacity as Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman. A report by the progressive Political Research Associates also appeared in spring 2011, while the summer saw critical pieces on CNN and NPR, as well as an earlier report in WiredWired also ran a second piece in October. This year has seen troubling stories involving the NYPD and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee.

The latest Wired piece has details of some of the guest lecturers used by Dooley, with links to original sources:

Shireen Burki declared during the 2008 election that “Obama is bin Laden’s dream candidate.” In her Joint Forces Staff College lecture, she told students that “Islam is an Imperialist/Conquering Religion.” (.pdf)

Stephen Coughlin…. suggested [link] that al-Qaida helped drive the overthrow of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak and Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi. It was part of a scheme by Islamists to conquer the world, he added. And Coughlin mocked those who didn’t see this plot as clearly as he did, accusing them of “complexification.”

…Former FBI employee John Guandolo told the conspiratorial World Net Daily website last year that Obama was only the latest president to fall under the influence of Islamic extremists… Guandolo’s paper, titled “Usual Responses from the Enemy When Presented With the Truth“ (.pdf), was one of hundreds of presentations, documents, videos and web links electronically distributed to the Joint Forces Staff College students. Included in that trove: a paper alleging that “it is a permanent command in Islam for Muslims to hate and despise Jews and Christians“ (.pdf). So was a video lecture from Serge Trifkovic, a former professor who appeared as a defense witness in several trials of Bosnian Serb leaders convicted of war crimes, including the genocide of Muslims. A web link, titled “Watch Before This Is Pulled,” supposedly shows President Obama — the commander-in-chief of the senior officers attending the course — admitting that he’s a Muslim.

Most of these names are familiar: in 2010, Coughlin took part in an unofficial “Fort Hood Memorial” event alongside Gen “Jerry” Boykin, Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem, and Robert Spencer; Guandolo was the focus of last summer’s NRP piece, which focused on police training in Ohio. In 2009, Trifkovic took part in a “Preserving Western Civilization” conference organised by Dr Michael H. Hart, an astrophysicist who claims that human history should be interpreted by considering differences in racial IQs – I discussed this here.

Eurasia Review notes that

For the better part of the last decade,

href=”http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-islam-domination/”>

a small cabal of self-anointed counterterrorism experts has been working its way through the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement communities, trying to convince whoever it could that

href=”http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-islam-qaida-irrelevant/”>

America’s real terrorist enemy wasn’t al-Qaida — but the Islamic faith itself. In his course, Dooley brought in these anti-Muslim demagogues as guest lecturers. And he took their argument to its final, ugly conclusion.

As an American Muslim who loves America and loves Islam, I can only pray that the voices that are heard are those of people like Gen. Dempsey, and the Elected Representatives & Government Officials Who HAVE Questioned Islamophobia, and not Islamophobic voices like Ret. Gen. Boykin or Pamela Geller and her fellow bigots.  The extremist voices on all sides need to be marginalized.  As an American Muslim I am fully committed to a war against al Qaeda, but refuse to participate in a war against Islam. In fact, I see a war against Islam as a war against Muslims, myself included.

After Rep. King’s hearings on Muslims in the military, I said

Put this sort of accusation together with:
— the possible indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens,
— Halliburton’s push to outfitFEMA and U.S. Army camps or internment/detention centers around the United States,
— the fact that our law enforcement agencies and personnel have been fed a steady diet of anti-Muslim propaganda,
— the fact that many of our elected representatives have expressed anti-Muslim views including the possibility that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution,
— and Rep. Rick Womick’s call to ban Muslims from the military.

All of these developments taken together are particularly alarming as they might relate to the American Muslim community.

I am not only concerned but frightened.  It is difficult to maintain any sense of humor with all of this going on, but my husband suggested to me that perhaps we don’t need to worry so much about our retirement as the government may be developing an “American Muslim retirement plan”.

I am certain that I will not be the only one in the American Muslim community who will be watching how all of this plays out to see just how frightened we should be.